Track list

  1. Theme from Run Home Slow
  2. Original Duke of Prunes
  3. Opening Night Party at Studio Z
  4. The Village Inn
  5. Steal Away
  6. I Was A Teenage Malt Shop
  7. The Birth of Captain Beefheart
  8. Metal Man Has Won His Wings
  9. Power Trio Segment from The Saints ‘n Sinners
  10. Bossa Nova Pervertamento
  11. Exerpt from The Uncle Frankie Show
  12. Charva
  13. Speed-Freak Boogie
  14. Original Mothers at The Broadside
  15. Party Scene from Mundo Hollywood
  16. Original Mothers rehearsal
  17. How Could I Be Such A Fool
  18. Band Introductions at The Fillmore West
  19. Plastic People
  20. Original Mothers at The Filmore East
  21. Harry You’re A Beast
  22. Don Interrupts
  23. Piece One
  24. Jim / Roy
  25. Piece Two
  26. Agency Man
  27. Agency man (Studio Version)
  28. Lecture from Festival Hall Show
  29. Wedding Dress Song / The Handsome Cabin Boy
  30. Skweezit Skweezit Skweezit
  31. The Story Of Willie The Pimp
  32. Black Beauty
  33. Chucha
  34. Mothers at KPFK
  35. Harmonica Fun

Catalogue number: RCD 10580
Label: Rycodisc
Released: 1998

Album overview from Graham Johnston

Mystery Disc brings together the two bonus vinyl albums included with Frank Zappa’s Old Masters box sets, featuring then previously unreleased gems from the vaults.

This is a mostly marvellous collection, with many examples of Zappa and The Mothers at their very best, though the inclusion of several long, boring, self-indulgent and pointless spoken word Tom Foolery, all of which are currently available on the Ahead Of Their Time album, diminishes the otherwise stunning quality of this release.

Especially of interest to Beefheart fans are the inclusions of “I Was A Teenage Malt Shop”, “The Birth Of Captain Beefheart” and “Metal Man Has Won His Wings”, all early Vliet / Zappa collaborations and all great fun. Quite apart from that, the majority of the Zappa material is pretty thrilling, especialy the “King Kong”-esque “Black Beauty” and the quite literal “Speed-Freak Boogie”.

The liner notes are an obsessive’s dream, featuring Zappa’s original commentary on all the songs, many rare photographs, and very precise details about every aspect imaginable. Best of all is this photo of Zappa, an unknown, Don Van Vliet and Ian Underwood:

The CD is as ful as it can be, and even if you take out the trash, you are still left with an excellent value collection of some bizarre but essential oddities, mostly unavailable elsewhere, though a few tunes have also appeared on Ahead Of Their Time and The Lost Episodes.

Purchase Mystery Disc


  • Mystery Disc#1 Barking Pumpkin BPR 777-6, 1985 part of Old Masters Box 1. Contains tracks 1-20 plus Why Don’tcha Do Me Right and Big Leg Emma.
  • Mystery Disc#2 Barking Pumpkin BPR 888-8, 1986 part of Old Masters Box 2. Contains tracks 21-35
  • Mystery Disc Rycodisc RCD 10580, 1998. Contains tracks 1-35, widely available.

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